This Land Is Mine

I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe- feature film, Seder-Masochism, but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide

Because you can’t tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man

 

Early Man
This generic “cave man” represents the first human settlers in Israel/Canaan/the Levant. Whoever they were.

Canaanite

 

 

Canaanite
What did ancient Canaanites look like? I don’t know, so this is based on ancient Sumerian art.

Ancient Egyptian

 

 

Egyptian
Canaan was located between two huge empires. Egypt controlled it sometimes, and…

Assyrian

 

 

Assyrian
….Assyria controlled it other times.

Israelite

 

 

Israelite
The “Children of Israel” conquered the shit out of the region, according to bloody and violent Old Testament accounts.

Babylonian

 

 

Babylonian
Then the Baylonians destroyed their temple and took the Hebrews into exile.

Macedonian/Alexander

 

 

 

Macedonian/Greek
Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!

Greek

 

 

Greek/Macedonian
No sooner did Alexander conquer everything, than his generals divided it up and fought with each other.

Ptolmaic

 

 

Ptolemaic
Greek descendants of Ptolemy, another of Alexander’s competing generals, ruled Egypt dressed like Egyptian god-kings. (The famous Cleopatra of western mythology and Hollywood was a Ptolemy.)

Seleucid

 

 

Seleucid
More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.

 

Hebrew Priest

Hebrew Priest
This guy didn’t fight, he just ran the Second Temple re-established by Hebrews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.

Maccabee

Maccabee
Led by Judah “The Hammer” Maccabee, who fought the Seleucids, saved the Temple, and invented Channukah. Until…

 

Roman

 

Roman
….the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and absorbed the region into the Roman Empire…

Byzantine

 

 

Byzantine
….which split into Eastern and Western Empires. The eastern part was called the Byzantine Empire. I don’t know if “Romans” ever fought “Byzantines” (Eastern Romans) but this is a cartoon.

 

Caliph

 

 

Arab Caliph
Speaking of cartoon, what did an Arab Caliph look like? This was my best guess.

Crusader

 

 

Crusader
After Crusaders went a-killin’ in the name of Jesus Christ, they established Crusader states, most notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Egyptian Mamluk

 

 

Mamluk of Egypt
Wikipedia sez, “Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies…In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be “true lords”, with social status above freeborn Muslims.[7]” And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.

 

Ottoman Turk

 

Ottoman Turk
Did I mention this is a cartoon? Probably no one went to battle looking like this. But big turbans, rich clothing and jewelry seemed to be in vogue among Ottoman Turkish elites, according to paintings I found on the Internet.

Arab

 

 

Arab
A gross generalization of a generic 19-century “Arab”.

 

British

British
The British formed alliances with Arabs, then occupied Palestine. This cartoon is an oversimplification, and uses this British caricature as a stand-in for Europeans in general.

Palestinian

 

 

Palestinian
The British occupied this guy’s land, only to leave it to a vast influx of….

European Jew/Zionist

 

European Jew/Zionist
Desperate and traumatized survivors of European pogroms and death camps, Jewish Zionist settlers were ready to fight to the death for a place to call home, but…

Hezbollah

 

 

PLO/Hamas/Hezbollah
….so were the people that lived there. Various militarized resistance movements arose in response to Israel: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

State of Israel

 


 

Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/TerroristState of Israel
Backed by “the West,” especially the US, they got lots of weapons and the only sanctioned nukes in the region.

 

Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist
Sometimes people fight in military uniforms, sometimes they don’t. Creeping up alongside are illicit nukes possibly from Iran or elsewhere in the region. Who’s Next?

Angel of Death

 

 

 

and finally…

The Angel of Death
The real hero of the Old Testament, and right now too.

 

Note: If you want to support this project, please notice I have Paypal and Flattr buttons. TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations accepted via the nonprofit QuestionCopyright.org.

814 comments to This Land Is Mine

  • Lars-Toralf Storstrand

    This film would be even better if rather than putting the angel of death in there, God was put in there in stead, since God says to Israel: “The land must not be sold forever, because THE LAND IS MINE!”.

  • benbilgen

    Only one thing, about the European Jew/Zionist – the caricature portrays a hasidic Jew, or orthodox Jew. Hasids were and have always been passionately opposed to the creation of the state of Israel, as they believe it violates biblical prophesy. They are not Zionists, they are opponents of Zionism. All Jews are not zionists.

  • […] Holy Land, the video below by Nina Paley is probably your best place to start. In addition, you can go to her website for an explanation about each of the characters in the […]

  • Chris

    Did someone already mention that this video is brilliant?
    Anyway I somehow disagree with you regarding your estimation of the Old Testament. In fact it tells a bloody story, but that’s more honest than telling fairy tales. And when I look at “my” land (Germany) the story sounds bloody and horrible as well.
    The unique selling point of your video is the multiple claim of three religions and at least two nations that “this land” is the one and only Holy Land ™, and I know some Jews who seriously believe that they will be never pushed out of Israel any more, thanks to God. Don’t they see that one of the basic doctrines of the Old Testament is: “If you’re doing not right and keep up repressing conditions over a long time you jeopardize your right to stay in “this land”?

  • Lassek

    What I dont like at this, is that all characters are showing the SAME brutal violence (only with different weapons according to the time and despite the Hebrew Priest as the only one with a clean slate). But the characters are just the sovereigns of this piece of earth over the times. Some were extremly violent, some were not. Some expulsed people some did not. Some killed people who refused to convert to a religion some did not.

  • […] 不過,無論是決定向以色列的高牆說不,還是代入內塔尼亞胡角度思考,讓我們先用四分鐘時間,瞭解該帶地區自古以來紛爭不斷,血跡斑斑的苦路。短片的作者同時提供了一個簡單易明的指南,讓觀眾更明瞭短片中各個互相殺戮的角色,所代表的歷史群體。 […]

  • Funny after watching, people immediately start defending their group or ideology. Completely missing the point. Ready for another fight.

  • spm

    And what about Persians?

  • […] 不過,無論是決定向以色列的高牆說不,還是代入內塔尼亞胡角度思考,讓我們先用四分鐘時間,瞭解該帶地區自古以來紛爭不斷,血跡斑斑的苦路。短片的作者同時提供了一個簡單易明的指南,讓觀眾更明瞭短片中各個互相殺戮的角色,所代表的歷史群體。 […]

  • לילה

    תעשי סרט אנימציה על הארץ שלך ואז נראה..
    כל כך לא מדוייק ומגחיך את הסיכסוך שהוא הרבה יותר מדמויות שטוחות שהורגות זה את זה

  • Tania Schellenberg

    Art can sometimes help make things bearable. Thank you. Brilliant.

  • Daniel

    @לילה

    You call yourself “Darkness” and you state that it’s so inaccurate and ridicules the conflict, but you’re missing the point. As long as there are people that are fighting each other for basically the same reasons, this will never end.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>